1. Agriculture World

Coconut Growers concerned about Whitefly Infestation

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Whitefly Infestation

The Rugose Spiralling Whitefly, an invasive insect, has attacked coconut trees in Madurai district, causing concern among coconut farmers.

The attack has been evident in the coconut trees for the past month, according to P. Manikandan, president of the Madurai District Wet and Dry Land Farmers' Association. “Previously, the attack was limited to Pollachi and Udumalpet, as well as other parts of the state,” he said.

In Madurai's Sholavandan and Kottampatti districts, there are approximately 3,000 hectares of coconut trees. The whitefly attacks the leaves and palms of coconut trees, according to J. Bhaskaran, a farmer whose coconut groves in Sholavandan were affected. The leaves begin to wither as a result. “As a consequence, the yield is impacted, resulting in significant losses for the farmers,” he said

“Farmers have no idea how to deal with the insect infestation. We've tried approaching officials from the Agricultural Department, but to no avail,” he added.

T. Vivekanandan, Joint Director of Agriculture, said that the whitefly thrives in hot weather. One method of limiting the spread of the insect attack is to use forceful water spraying. Farmers' knowledge of the pest and its management must be heightened, he added.

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